Verizon Wireless Inc. this week unveiled a service designed to duplicate the performance of wireline broadband services.

Called BroadbandAccess, the wireless offering allows users to download corporate files and business information residing behind firewalls, and access e-mail, intranets and the Internet at 300Kbps to 500Kbps, burstable to 2Mbps. A 1MB e-mail attachment, for example, can be downloaded in 20 seconds with BroadbandAccess, versus 90 seconds with Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) wireless technology or seven minutes with general packet radio service (GPRS), Verizon says.

The new service is based on third-generation (3G) code division multiple access (CDMA) 1x Evolution, Data Optimized (1xEVDO) wireless technology and is available in Washington, D.C. and San Diego for a flat rate of US$80 per month. Required equipment includes the Verizon Wireless PC 5220 card for laptop computers, manufactured by Sierra Wireless, which costs US$150 after US$100 rebate through the end of the year.

Verizon Wireless will offer additional BroadbandAccess devices, including additional cards, modem packages for the office, and a range of handheld mobile devices at a later date.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is an alternative 3G wireless technology to Wideband CDMA (WCDMA). WCDMA offers data rates of 384Kbps. Previous to 1xEVDO, Verizon Wireless offered data rates of 40Kbps to 60Kbps, burstable to 144Kbps, on its 1xRTT Express Network.

BroadbandAccess is part of Verizon Wireless’ VZOffice business service suite.

Verizon Wireless began 1xEVDO technology trials last year with Lucent Technologies Inc. in Washington, D.C., and with Nortel Networks in San Diego. In the first half of this year, Verizon Wireless expanded the coverage areas to towns surrounding these two markets.